"Napoleonder", a Russian folk tale about Napoleon's career, and "The Napoleon of the People", a chapter from Balzac's novel The Country Doctor describing French folk beliefs about Napoleon's special powers and destiny. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Folk-Tales of Napoleon, translated by George Kennan (1902)
A short medieval treatise on the mystical experience of hearing angels' song, and how to distinguish true mystical experiences from false ones. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: The Cell of Self-Knowledge, 1521
The Urantia Book presents an integrated world view composed from the concepts and ideas of more than 2,000 individuals who have contributed to the fields of science, philosophy, religion, history, sociology and theology during the last 2,000 years. Compiled by an editorial staff of superhuman beings, the text provides a comprehensive perspective of human origins, history and destiny. ( 1 reviews ) Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Computer generated text to speech
"Apologia" means "explanation". In this case, a Greek philosopher who converted to Christianity attempts to explain to Emperor Marcus Aurelius why Christianity is a good thing; or failing that, what Christians believe and do as opposed to what is rumored; and why it was bad for the Empire to persecute Christians just for holding Christian beliefs. The apologia is circa 147-161 A.D. If you're interested at all in history, politics, or religion, this is like a trip in a time... Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1
A digest of Christian teaching from circa AD 60-100. Translated by Isaac Hall and John Napier. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 7, edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, American edition, 1886. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7, 1886.
Thoughts on love, forgiveness, and the faithfulness of prophecy from Aphrahat (aka Aphraates), an early Christian known as "the Persian Sage". favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
On July 6, 1776, before the Declaration of Independence had been ratified by the conventions of the colonies, Maryland declared itself independent in these words. Drafted by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, this moving declaration displays a subtly different understanding of the grievances and rights of the people of the colonies. (Though the complaints about being treated like slaves sound ironic to modern ears.) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, history Source: The Chronicles of Baltimore, by Col. J. Thomas Scharf, 1874
From the Acts of St. Brendan of Clonfert (best known for his voyages), a very long and thorough lorica (breastplate) prayer. It is similar to other better-known loricas like the Lorica of St. Patrick, but a lot longer! Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, poetry
Martin of Tours became an important monk and bishop in Gaul not long after Christianity was made legal again. Sulpitius Severus, a well-educated man who knew Martin toward the end of his life, decided to write Martin's biography before he died, and set out to interview the man himself and those who knew him, as well as recording well-known stories about him. The result is an intriguing mixture of history and hagiography that includes glimpses of the Emperors Julian and Maximus, as well as a... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, history
In this volume of Against Heresies, Irenaeus uses Jesus' statements quoted in the Gospel to argue against the Gnostics' interpretation of Jesus. He emphasizes the continuity of the Old Testament with the New, and the ways the Son made appearances or was foreshadowed in the Old Testament. (For some reason, none of my more recent audiobooks have been put into the Maria Lectrix section by the nice archive.org folks. But that's where to find my recordings of Book I, Book II, and Book III. Book V is... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
The bestselling spiritual classic from the Middle Ages continues, with more talk of detachment from unhappiness, things people say about you, and unfortunate events. There is also advice on how to deal with temptation. Book 1: Part 1 | Part 2 | Book 2 | Book 3:Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Book 4: Part 1 | Part 2 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, CCEL
A dialogue between Catherine and God the Father. The second part of the book, "A Treatise on Discretion", discusses how all good things must be done with discretion, which is part of love; how Christ is like a bridge; how virtues and good works should not be done out of fear or as an end in themselves, but out of love; and how the soul should learn to love God unconditionally as a friend and adopted child, not just for God's good gifts. Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism Source: The Dialog of St. Catherine of Siena, CCEL
This early Christian work, a "bestseller" in its time, concludes with more rural parables about the Church and about Church members who badly need to repent. Also provides an interesting look at the most common problems and failings of early Christians living in an anti-Christian world. Book 1 Book 2: Part 1 | Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Shepherd of Hermas, translated by J.B. Lightfoot
Audiobook of an early twentieth century catechetical book explaining the doctrine, prayers, and rubrics of the Latin Rite Mass as promulgated at that time. Most of this applies to both the 1962 Mass used today as the Extraordinary Form, and the post-Vatican II Mass used as the Ordinary Form. (It also applies, in broad outline, to earlier Latin Rite Masses and to Masses in other Rites, of course.) It is particularly interesting to see how the interpretation of certain elements of the Mass has... Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion, spirituality
The classic handbook for ordinary people who want to live spiritually devout lives continues, with advice on how to resist temptations and constantly renew your commitment to loving and serving God. Continues from IntroDevout and IntroDevout2. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality
The logical working-out and disputation of all the implications of an idea can be a long, drawn out process. It can also be difficult to explain to people who haven't followed all the twists and turns of the argument. In this book-length essay, Newman argues that Christian doctrinal "development" is not so much produced by change or innovation, as by unfolding what was already implicit in revelation. John Henry Newman was an Anglican cleric and one of the chief members of the Oxford... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, philosophy
A treatise on prayer by a great early Christian theologian from Alexandria. Using prayers from both the Old and New Testament as examples, he creates a primer on what sort of things a Christian should pray for, and how. His primary tool for doing this is a detailed interpretation of the Lord's Prayer. Some of the theology, Biblical interpretation, and Christian practice that he advocates has been developed further since his time. So you may need to take these bits with a grain of salt. But much... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, spirituality Source: Origen on Prayer, translated by William A. Curtis
This is the exciting saga of Judah Maccabee, and of the Jewish people's fight to keep their freedom and God's law. The First and Second Books of Maccabees are reckoned as part of the Old Testament by Catholics. However, everybody should count them as fascinating Jewish historical literature. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Holiday - Chanukah Source: Douay-Rheims Bible
It's almost Easter, and Cyril concludes his classes for those about to be received into Baptism and Communion with the Church with rousing lectures on the Last Judgement, Antichrist, the Holy Spirit, and other stuff they need to know. Now also including the last two of the Mystagogical Lectures, because there was no room at the server for them. Catechetical Lectures: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Mystagogical Lectures Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism
A deacon requests advice on how best to explain the faith to people who want to become Christian, how to know how he's doing at it, and how to keep it interesting both to them and himself. Augustine's answer touches on all sorts of things, from teaching, public speaking, and linguistics to salvation history and the psychology of converts. Interesting and useful stuff! Translated by the Rev. C.L. Cornish, 1847. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Seventeen Short Treatises of St. Augustine, trans. by C.L. Cornish and H. Browne, 1847.
A description by early Christians of the death of St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey), in about AD 155. Includes a classic explanation of why a martyr's remains were important, and relates martyrdom to the Eucharistic liturgy. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, history, religion
A sermon on the Virgin Mary's death and assumption into Heaven by St. John of Damascus (aka St. John Damascene). favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: On holy images, followed by three sermons on the Assumption. Tr. by Mary H. Allies, 1898.
Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna writes to the Church in Philippi. At their request, the subject is righteousness and righteous living. Apparently, this letter was written either shortly before or after St. Ignatius of Antioch's martyrdom, as the Philippians are anxious to read Ignatius' letters and Polycarp is anxious to hear tidings of Ignatius. Way before the Council of Nicaea, though; so listen and find out what Christianity was like towards the end of its first century! Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
He's talked about why the Gnostics are wrong about God. Now it's time for Irenaeus to talk about what the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition of the Church have to say. Book I Book II Book IV Book V favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers
The second half of The Shepherd of Hermas consists of parables. One of the parables presents a somewhat bizarre version of the Son preexisting His Incarnation as Jesus, but nevertheless shows that early Christians were thinking about the Trinity. Book 1 Book 2: Part 2 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Shepherd of Hermas, translated by J.B. Lightfoot
Continuation of the spiritual classic. Book III explores how to develop your character: enhancing your strengths by practicing them, adding the virtues you don't have, and countering your weaknesses and bad tendencies by learning to do better. Part 1 is at IntroDevout. Part 3 continues with Books 4 and 5. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: An Introduction to the Devout Life, ed. by W.J.B. Edwards
This is not so much a sermon on Advent or December, as the old fast of the "Ember Days" that used to be celebrated four times a year. (Zacharias 8:19: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and great solemnities.") The December ones always fell during Advent, of course, thus contributing to the penitential and preparatory... Topics: Spirituality, Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 12, CCEL
A short and punchy sermon on Lent, depicting it as not only a time of penitence, almsgiving, and training in self-control and virtue, but of direct conflict between Christians and demons. Yep, nothing like a little spiritual advice from the pope who faced down Attila the Hun. Also includes bonus sermon! Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
In third century Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on Easter Sunday, the candidates were baptized and received Communion for the first time. During the next week, St. Cyril taught short classes about what exactly was the meaning of these Mysteries. The Mystagogical Lectures are actual transcriptions of those classes. Great stuff both for students of religion and history. Catechetical Lectures: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. VII
This is _the_ medieval management book, written by the pope who set up the Catholic Church to survive the Dark Ages. It was written for bishops and read by huge numbers of European lay leaders as well as church ones. This is the book that King Alfred so wanted to spread around that he had it translated into English. This is a book that still has important lessons today. The first part considers what sort of person you ought to have in charge and what sort not, as well as good and bad reasons... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, leadership Source: Trans. by Barmby, from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XII
The spiritual classic continues as the voice of Christ discusses suffering and consolation with a would-be disciple. Book 1: Part 1 | Part 2 | Book 2 | Book 3:Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Book 4: Part 1 | Part 2 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, CCEL
St. Augustine of Hippo, the famous Christian convert and bishop, teaches basic rules of scripture interpretation, teaching, and preaching. He also advocates free sharing and distribution of information as a multiplier of wealth and stimulus to learning; discusses semantics and linguistics; and does a whole bunch of theologizing. Fun stuff! favoritefavorite ( 2 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, Religion, Bible Source: Tr. by James Shaw, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.
The spiritual classic about dark nights of the soul, and how to start to achieve union with God through prayer, begins with a look at the "night of sense". The second book deals with the "night of faith". Then the third book deals with the "night of the memory and will". The final two books of the five book treatise are generally printed separately and called The Dark Night of the Soul. So I have also recorded them separately. favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism
After the death of his brother St. Basil the Great, and after being unable to visit his eldest sister St. Macrina and his last surviving brother for eight long years, St. Gregory of Nyssa finally arrived for a visit and found his formidable sister on her deathbed. In an attempt to cheer him up, St. Macrina held a Socratic dialogue with him. He told about this in her biography, but had no space to include it. In this separate work, he does. Of course, both the vagaries of memory and the points... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Translation by William Moore and Henry Austin Wilson, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 2, Volume 5.
How ordinary people in any walk of life can begin a life of deeper love of God, through making prayer and service a part of their everyday routines. Francois de Sales was a Catholic missionary and priest working in French and Swiss Calvinist areas. At the time he wrote this book, he had become a bishop. He was also a prolific writer. This audiobook continues as IntroDevout2. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Translation by Fr. Walter J.B. Edwards, 1878.
An essay from an Early Christian bishop and martyr on the spiritual importance of unity in the Church. It stresses the importance of holding the same doctrine, but also the vital need for love and harmony within and among all Christians. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers
If it's easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved, what rich man will be? St. Clement of Alexandria comforts the worried and worries the comfortable in this Early Christian bestseller, which grapples with salvation, trust in God, and perseverance. Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion
A theological commentary about the Star of Bethlehem prophecy, claiming that it was preserved in the archives of Eastern kings. It's not really by the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea as it claims to be, but the king lists are interesting. Topics: Audiobook-nonfiction, religion
Against Heresies concludes with a volume on the meaning of Jesus' teachings and Paul's epistles, refuting the rather farfetched readings of the Gnostics. There's plenty of interesting information on the stuff that early Christians did believe, too! Book I, Book II, Book III, and Book IV. favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
Not too many years after St. Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians, the then-bishop of Rome, St. Clement, wrote them a letter also. This extremely early Christian piece of writing is full of interesting stuff about unity and the problems of Christians in Corinth, and much will be found highly relevant to Christians today. Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion, unity
This plain, easy to understand book on Jesus' humanity and divinity, written by a passionate young priest from Alexandria heavily influenced by the desert monks and St. Anthony, was a bestseller in its time. It still holds up today. It was also the first shot in the long fight of "Athanasius against the world", because Arius, a popular but over-the-hill priest and songwriter who was also from Alexandria, had his bestsellers, too. He claimed that Jesus was just another man, even if the... favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: On the Incarnation
On his way to martyrdom in Rome, Bishop Ignatius of Antioch (then in Syria; now Antakya, Turkey) wrote letters to the Church in several cities of the Empire. Seven of these letters survive. By the way, you'll notice that the good bishop is not shy about calling Jesus "God". (So much for that Da Vinci Code silliness....) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
A spiritual classic written for those in religious life, but used for centuries by all sorts of Christians. Book 1: Part 1 | Book 2 | Book 3: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Book 4: Part 1 | Part 2 Topics: mysticism, Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: The Imitation of Christ, CCEL
The bestselling religious classic from the Middle Ages continues. God is the only truly trustworthy being. Book 1: Part 1 | Part 2 | Book 2 | Book 3:Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Book 4: Part 1 | Part 2 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, CCEL
Published in 1496 as part of the Book of St. Albans, and written by an English prioress, this little treatise explains how to make a telescoping fishing rod, fishing line, and hooks. It also explains how to fish, when, and where. However, for the non-angler, the real pleasure of this treatise is its pleasant tone and small nuggets of wisdom. favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, fishing